Publication Abstract

Yabiku, Scott T., Jennifer E. Glick, Elizabeth Wentz, Dirgha J. Ghimire, and Qunshan Zhao. 2017. “Comparing Paper and Tablet Modes of Retrospective Activity Space Data Collection.” Survey Research Methods 11(3):329-344.

Individual actions are both constrained and facilitated by the social context in which individuals are embedded. But research to test specific hypotheses about the role of space on human behaviors and well-being is constrained by the difficulty of collecting accurate and personally relevant social context data. We report on a project in Chitwan, Nepal, that directly addresses challenges to collect accurate activity space data. We test if a computer assisted interviewing (CAI), tablet-based approach to collecting activity space data was more accurate than a paper map-based approach; we also examine which subgroups of respondents provided more accurate data with the tablet mode compared to paper. Results show that the tablet approach yielded more accurate data when comparing respondent-indicated locations to the known locations as verified by on-the-ground staff. In addition, the accuracy of the data provided by older and less healthy respondents benefited more from the tablet mode.

DOI: 10.18148/srm/2017.v11i3.6741

PMCID: PMC5881931

Publication Abstract

Bhandari, Prem B., and Indra Chaudhary. 2017. “A Calendar Method of Collecting Remittance Use Data in a Remittance Dependent Setting of Nepal.” Migration and Development 6(2):177-197.

This methodological paper describes the design and refinement of a calendar method of collecting data on remittance receipt and remittance use and its piloting in a rural remittance dependent setting of Nepal. Much of the previous national surveys collected remittance receipt and remittance use cross-sectional data that used a time frame ranging from 12 to 24 months. These surveys collected remittance receipt data by asking, ‘How much money has he/she sent in the past 12 months or 2 years?’ We believe that the long time frame of one to two years adds burden to respondents for unnecessary calculations and is prone to re-call bias. Moreover, these surveys used vague words such as ‘capital formation’ or ‘daily consumption’ to measure the uses of remittances. Thus, the instrument perse is unreliable posing threats to collecting valid responses. Considering these flaws, in 2013, we designed a calendar with shorter timing cues and simple words for collecting longitudinal data on remittance receipt and remittance use. First, we describe the calendar design process. Next, we provide descriptive results of household responses on the amount of remittance received and the remittance used on various socio-economic and cultural dimensions of household activities. The implications of the insights gained from this study are discussed.

DOI: 10.1080/21632324.2015.1129689

PMCID: PMC5791769

Publication Abstract

Brauner-Otto, Sarah R., and William G. Axinn. 2017. “Natural Resource Collection and Desired Family Size: A Longitudinal Test of Environment-population Theories.” Population and Environment 38(4):381-406.

Theories relating the changing environment to human fertility predict that declining natural resources may actually increase the demand for children. Unfortunately, most previous empirical studies have been limited to cross-sectional designs that limit our ability to understand links between processes that change over time. We take advantage of longitudinal measurement spanning more than a decade of change in the natural environment, household agricultural behaviors, and individual fertility preferences to reexamine this question. Using fixed effect models, we find that women experiencing increasing time required to collect firewood to heat and cook or fodder to feed animals (the dominant needs for natural resources in this setting) increased their desired family size, even as many other macro-level changes have reduced desired family size. In contrast to previous, cross-sectional studies, we find no evidence of such a relationship for men. Our findings regarding time spent collecting firewood are also new. These results support the “vicious circle” perspective and economic theories of fertility pointing to the value of children for household labor. This feedback from natural resource constraint to increased fertility is an important mechanism for understanding long-term environmental change.

DOI: 10.1007/s11111-016-0267-6

PMCID: PMC5608093

Publication Abstract

Allendorf, Keera, Arland Thornton, Colter Mitchell, Linda Young-DeMarco, and Dirgha J. Ghimire. 2017. “Early Women, Late Men: Timing Attitudes and Gender Differences in Marriage.” Journal of Marriage and Family 79(5):1478-1496.

Around the world, women marry earlier than men, but it is not well understood why this gender gap exists. Using panel data collected in Nepal, the authors investigate whether attitudes about marital timing held by unmarried youth and their parents account for women marrying earlier than men. They also examine whether the influence of timing attitudes differs by gender. On average, unmarried youth and their parents viewed 20 to 25 as acceptable ages for women to marry, whereas ages 23 to 30 were appropriate for men. In turn, women entering the acceptable marriage age range earlier than men accounted for a third of the gender gap in marital timing. The influence of youth and parents’ timing attitudes did differ by gender, but only at the extreme. When they were much too young for marriage, both genders were less likely to marry, but this dampening effect was substantially larger for women.

DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12426

PMCID: PMC5679473

Publication Abstract

Jennings, Elyse A. 2017. “Family Composition and Marital Dissolution in Rural Nepal, 1945-2008.” Population Studies 71(2):229-248.

The presence, number, sex, and age composition of children within families can have important influences on couples’ marital outcomes. Children are valued across settings, but their value in settings where there is an absence of formalized social security is distinctive. This paper explores the influences of childlessness, and different number, age, and sex compositions of children, on the odds of marital dissolution among couples in rural Nepal. Results reveal that childless couples face significantly higher odds of dissolution than couples with at least one child, and each additional child-up to three children-reduces couples’ odds of dissolution. Furthermore, having a child aged under two reduces couples’ odds of marital dissolution, but interactions reveal that this age effect only holds at parity one. Surprisingly, despite a history of son preference in this setting, there is no evidence that children’s within-parity sex composition is associated with the odds of marital dissolution.

DOI: 10.1080/00324728.2017.1282622

PMCID: PMC5448290

Publication Abstract

Pearlman, Jessica, Lisa D. Pearce, Dirgha J. Ghimire, Prem B. Bhandari, and Taylor Hargrove. 2017. “Postmarital Living Arrangements in Historically Patrilocal Settings: Integrating Household Fission and Migration Perspectives.” Demography 54:1425-1449.

This study integrates theory and research on household fission (or partition) and migration to better understand living arrangements following marriage, especially in historically patrilocal and primarily agricultural settings. Using panel data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study to analyze the sequential decision-making process that influences men’s living arrangements subsequent to first marriage, we demonstrate the importance of distinguishing among extended family living, temporary migration, and the establishment of an independent household. We find that community economic characteristics, such as access to markets or employment, as well as household wealth affect the initial decision to leave the natal home. Household resources and use of farmland, along with the young men’s own education, media exposure, travel, and marital behavior, influence the decision to make the departure from the natal home permanent. Our findings explain why previous results regarding household fission and those focused on migration have provided such mixed results, and we establish a new framework for thinking about how families and individuals manage living situations.

DOI: 10.1007/s13524-017-0588-9

PMCID: PMC5856169

Publication Abstract

Ghimire, Dirgha J., William G. Axinn, Heather H. Gatny, and Stephanie A. Chardoul. 2017. “Preparing a Culturally Appropriate Translation of a Survey Questionnaire.” SAGE Research Methods Cases Online Only.

In 1996, we launched a panel study in the Chitwan Valley of Nepal to investigate the influence of social contexts on population processes. Twenty years later, the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS) is still underway, with a population-based sample of 10,000 people. Over time, the focus of the CVFS has expanded to other areas including agricultural production, migration, and labor force participation. In 2016, the CVFS expanded again, launching its most ambitious data collection effort yet-the collection of psychiatric phenotypes and biospecimens to investigate the role of genetics and the environment in producing common psychiatric disorders. This case study describes our 3-year-long mixed-methods approach to develop a clinically validated survey questionnaire to measure psychiatric disorders in Nepal. We detail our process to translate and adapt a widely used mental health survey from English into Nepali and validate the instrument’s ability to diagnose psychiatric disorders in Nepal. We also describe lessons we learned along the way and offer some advice. We hope that this case will help other researchers planning to take an existing instrument and adapt or translate it to another culture or language. We do not intend this study to be used as a set of instructions for translating instruments. Instead, we encourage you to read our case study with your study in mind, drawing parallels and noting dissimilarities along the way, review the vast literature on the topic, and then design your own translation and validation process to meet the needs of your unique study.

DOI: 10.4135/9781526409515

Publication Abstract

Axinn, William G., Dirgha J. Ghimire, and Emily Smith-Greenaway. 2017. “Emotional Variation and Fertility Behavior.” Demography 54(2):437-458.

Emotional influences on fertility behaviors are an understudied topic that may offer a clear explanation of why many couples choose to have children even when childbearing is not economically rational. With setting-specific measures of the husband-wife emotional bond appropriate for large-scale population research matched with data from a long-term panel study, we have the empirical tools to provide a test of the influence of emotional factors on contraceptive use to limit fertility. This article presents those tests. We use long-term, multilevel community and family panel data to demonstrate that the variance in levels of husband-wife emotional bond is significantly associated with their subsequent use of contraception to avert births. We discuss the wide-ranging implications of this intriguing new result.

DOI: 10.1007/s13524-017-0555-5

PMCID: PMC5426117